The Guilford County Health and Human Services Department conducts serious outreach efforts to make sure that all county residents eligible for various government benefits know about them and apply for them.  Now that North Carolina has expanded Medicaid services, the county and Cone Health have decided that the best place to house some of the social service workers who help provide those benefits is right there in the hospitals.

Guilford County government is currently in the process of contracting with Cone to provide patients potentially eligible for Medicaid with eligibility caseworkers who’ll be housed at local hospitals and, while working there, be able to evaluate patients and, when applicable, authorize them for coverage.

Usually, Guilford County social services employees work out of the county’s Maple Street facility in Greensboro or the East Russell Avenue building in High Point.

Cone Health obviously likes the plan as well: As part of the county’s agreement with Cone, the health system will pay Guilford County’s part of the cost for three eligibility caseworkers – two adult Medicaid workers and one child Medicaid worker.

The county will house the caseworkers at both Wesley Long and Moses Cone hospitals.

The state of North Carolina currently pays 75 percent of the cost for Medicaid case workers – which means that Cone’s contribution will cover Guilford County’s 25 percent costs for the workers who’ll each be making about $55,000 a year.

In December of last year, the state implemented Medicaid expansion, something that Guilford County had been preparing for for much of 2023.

Guilford County now has plenty of new caseworkers to go around.  The county’s 2023-2024 fiscal budget added more than 50 social services positions to help handle the new responsibilities.